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Us 11, Eric Cantor 10, Washington 7, U.s. 6, America 5, Chuck Hagel 3, Carolyn Maloney 3, John Kerry 3, Betty White 3, Ravens 3, Baltimore 3, Maria Teresa 3, Obama 3, Michael Isikoff 2, Dana Milbank 2, Kristen Welker 2, Obama Administration 2, Nbc 2, Geico 2, Brendan 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    February 5, 2013
    8:00 - 8:59am PST  

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big time taste should fit in a little time cup. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop. hi, everyone. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. topping our agenda, immigration and guns. live at the capitol this hour, the house committee debating the road ahead for immigration reform and a path to citizenship for 11 million people. house speaker john boehner
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saying this in the last hour. >> this is not about being in a hurry, this is about trying to get it right, on behalf of the american people and those who are suffering under an immigration system that doesn't work very well for anybody. >> meanwhile, at the same time, the president is making his case for immigration reform with progressive and labor leaders. this afternoon, he's going to do the same thing with a number of ceos. today's focus on immigration comes just one day after the president took his campaign for gun control on the road for the very first time. >> we don't have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something. that's my main message here today. keep the pressure on your member of congress to do the right thing. and tell them, now is the time for action. that we're not going to wait until the next newtown or the next aurora. >> and following the president's call for action, the first sign of bipartisan on the this highly
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divisive, a group from the white house set to introduce legislation today, to tackle illegal gun trafficking. >> republicans and democrats, for the first time in the house, were coming together, not just on common ground, joe, but i say, we are on higher ground. >> with possibilities for compromise emerging in washington, later today, majority leader eric cantor expected to give a major policy address to rebrand the house gop and put a softer touch on the gop's slash and burn priorities. now, it's something that politico is calling cantor 4.0. >> listen, i think we learned a lot of lessons from the last election. and what i would like to see us do, and what i'll talk about today, is really explaining and demonstrating why we are for the things that we're for. >> i want to begin the hour talking about immigration, both on capitol hill and the white house. and joining me to do that from the white house is nbc news correspondent, kristen welker. so, kristen, nbc's first read is
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talking about and describing this as flooding the zone. but john boehner really refusing to endorse the path to citizenship that's been talked about. so what's the strategy as we go down the wire here? we have just one week to go until the state of the union. >> reporter: well, thomas, the strategy is for the president to try to define and set the tone of the issues that are being discussed, before congress can do it. and as you point out, he does have a pretty strong bully pulpit right now, because he is exactly one week out before his state of the union address. and of course, the big sticking point right now between this white house and republicans is that idea of a path to citizenship. president obama thinks that it should not be linked to stronger border security, but the republican plan, eric cantor, does want to see that linked to border security. so today president obama going to use his bully pulpit. he's going to meet with labor leaders and ceos and he's going to make the case to them that immigration reform is good for the economy. here's a look at who he's going
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to be meeting with in terms of the labor leaders. richard trumka of the afl-cio, eliseo medina, lloyd blankfein, and arnie sorenson, among others. so those are just a few of the folks with whom he will be meeting this afternoon. of course, time is of the essence, thomas. the president believes he has about a year, year and a half, to really make movements on some of these other policy issues, like gun control, like immigration reform. as you know, he was in minnesota yet, pressing for new gun safety measures. so i think this is a tactic you're going to see this white house continue with over the next several weeks. >> when you say time is of the essence, because of 2014, the midterms coming up. and when we talk about time, we know we have just a week to go until the state of the union address. but we're also learning that the president is going to deliver the remarks this afternoon in response to the problem that's looming about the sequester. a short-term fix to that. can we expect to hear the
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president give any specifics about what he'd like to see done in this afternoon, in those remarks, or kristen, do you think, from what you're hearing, that this is going to be more about a band-aid approach, of kicking the can down the road. >> reporter: i think it's going to be a band-aid approach to some extent. the president will call for a short-term lusolution to avert e sequester. that economists believe could have a negative impact on the economy. so president obama is going to make the case, we expect him to, when he speaks publicly this afternoon. for congress to come up with a solution to avert that in the short-term, for at least the next several months. and we'll make the argument that, look, they need more time before they can get a long-term solution. something that extends to ten years. of course, president obama will make the case that he believes any solution should include cuts and new revenues. that is something that republicans are staunchly opposed to. they believe they should avert the sequester through a series
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of cuts. so this is really where the big argument lies. it is where it has been for quite some time now. but that is what we expect president obama to come out and say when he speaks publicly, a little bit later on this afternoon. thomas? >> kristen welker, great to see you. thanks so much. we want to bring in this power panel for this tuesday. joining me is jackie kucinich, maria teresa kumar, and republican strategist, chip saltsman. we have a lot to talk about, gang. and i want to dive right in and talk about what the president will be doing in terms of immigration, and when then that what got the president re-elected is the obama coalition. maria teresa, you know this best of anybody, with the work that voto latino did. and as we look at the numbers, let's show everybody, the obama approval ratings among hispanics. we look at the numbers, how they've gone up, gone up considerably from july of 2012, at 56%, all the way to january
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now at 70%. maria teresa, the voters out there that believe in this president, not only believe of the promise, but believe in the action of what he's going to be able to deliver on. but is there worry that there is not the consensus from the right. the right sees this as, we don't have a lot to gain, because we're just going to give into the democrats and that's going to give them the support they need to carry through more elections. >> what was interesting was, the reason that the republicans are pushing immigration now, they did see what happened at the polls. so did the asian community, another increasingly growing population. and the republicans realize that in order to fix and actually go and win the white house in the next couple of years, they have to win the latino vote. what the president right now is trying to do is basically tee it up for them. saying, let's create a pathway to citizenship for these 11
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million undocumented, and all of a sudden the next day, you won't have a latino vote problem, you won't have an asian vote republican. and unfortunately, the republicans are right now sticking too much to their extreme right. because when you poll republicans and independents, they have a tendency of actually believing that there should be a pathway to citizenship. we talk about these 11 million undocumented, 5 million, roughly, came here as children, and you have 65% of them have been living in our country and communities for ten years. it's not that they just came across the border, it's that they've been living and contributing. now let's get them out of the shadows and give them a pathway to citizenship. >> chip, as we look at what the republican side can gain from this is a lot, because when you're basically on the floor, there aren't a lot of places to fall from that. there are only areas to go up from that from. and the republicans see that the latino community is one they should embrace. politico today saying, "house gop seeking path on immigration." then we get this quote from representative goodlatte, the
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head of the judiciary committee on the house side. "when senate majority leader harry reid says there has to be a path to citizenship, i wonder whether he's serious about doing immigration reform. you have to come at this with a willingness to look at all the options and find common ground." this is all on the heels of that bipartisan senate group that came forward with what they think is best for immigration reform. is the house really going to be an obstacle moving forward, chip, and not being on board? we know they've got their hearing that's taking place as we speak. >> we'll learn a little bit about what the house wanted to do with eric cantor and his speech, and the rebranding of the republican party. but first, thomas, congratulations on a big win on sunday. that was a great game. >> thank you, sir, i'm running out of purple. >> i'll send you some more. but for immigration in the house, we need to talk about what we believe in, and celebrate immigrants, and talk about how we do legal immigration, and make sure that people not only have -- the reason they break into this country is because there's not a pathway to get here legally.
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i think we've got to first recognize that. and if the house will start moving on that, start some bipartisan talks about that, i think that can be a good starting point for the house. >> jackie, let's move on and talk about eric cantor. the rebranding, the reimaging is certainly topical and eric cantor wants to be the new face of that. as we look at what his priorities are for the house gop, they're education initiatives, simplifying the tax code, health care reforms, and immigration reform. jacqui, these are all kind of popular issues that the right could take the lead on and gain traction with. but what do you think about eric cantor trying to come out to rebrand, especially, when he's been down this rebranding road before? >> yeah, we have seen this before from eric cantor. and you know, the fact that he is making this speech, to try to renew momentum on some of these issues, i mean, is something that he's been wanting to do since december, when the republicans rr pretty divided. but the devil's in the details
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with these kind of speeches. when you're talking about tax reform, i think he told "national review" that he wants to look at a family-friendly tax reform. well, when you have a budget chairman preparing a budget that's going to balance in ten years, it's going to be really hard to keep things like the child tax credit. so we're going to see how this pans out, because you can't talk about a budget plabalancing in years without cutting some tax cuts that are really important to the middle class. we'll see how this pans out in terms of policy, rather than what we're going to hear today. >> so eric cantor was on "morning joe" today, talking exactly about that. the financial aspect of what it means to be helpful to america. and you bring up the middle class. take a listen. >> i think where we have a lot of room to grow as a party, as conservatives, so to plain again why we're for the kind of fiscal discipline that we're for. what is the reality and how are we going to help people? >> maria teresa, do they have a
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lot of room to grow there in coming forward as being known as the party of how to help people? >> you know, i caution the republican party, when cantor speaks today, saying, i'm going to detail a speech of how we're going to rebrand. what i encourage them to do a little bit more of and the republican party in general is a listening tour. the fact that they went out in virginia yesterday and was talking to constituents that may not be the extreme right of his party, that's going to serve him well to actually start talking and connecting with individuals. and that's the only way that he can actually start explaining and translating his policies. but the republican party just needs to go out into everyday americans and really hear what their mains are. and when you're talking about balancing the checkbook, americans are suffering that right now. they completely understand the importance of being fiscally responsible. but we need to do it in a way that's not in the backs of middle class people. and it's not on the backs of children either. i think the more they can go out and have a listening tour and talk to everyday americans, the more receptive everyday americans will be to their
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policy changes. >> chip, is this all about making relevance the issue? it seems as if the republican party that wants to stay relevant, why not elect people that actually believe in what they're trying to tell you. are americans supposed to be that gullible to believe that they now have a huge, you know, come to jesus, awakening, of what they need to do over immigration reform, of what they need to do to help the middle class, over all of this stuff. are we supposed to be to that gullible? >> i think the first thing republicans need to say is, we're conservatives and we're not angry. they seem very angry and that's what they come across as. and i think what eric cantor is doing this afternoon makes a lot of sense. i like that listening tour idea. i think that makes a lot of sense. every issue that the house republicans are talking about affects the kitchen table, the family of four, mom and dad making those tough decisions. and every, that we talk about needs to be related back to, how does that affect us. >> didn't this election prove how tone deaf they are? a listening tour?
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they're tone deaf. the election proves that. >> well, there are certainly some republicans and some democrats that you can say are tone deaf. i think what eric cantor is doing is really focusing on what republicans believe and how we communicate that to a greater country and say, this is what we believe and this is why we believe it. going back to immigration, to win over hispanics, we don't need to change who we are, but we need to communicate what we believe and why that's important to them. >> my thanks to the power panel today, great to see all of you. and i want to point out once again, as we were talking about, majority leader eric cantor will be speaking later today. but also he's going to be a guest this sunday on "meet the press" with david gregory. that's appointment tv right there. coming up next, finding common ground. a bipartisan group of lawmakers reaching a plan for dealingi iwh the sale of guns. congresswoman carolyn maloney joins me next. plus, a huge birthday present for that 5-year-old boy who was being held hostage. and license to kill
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americans. michael isikoff uncovering the long sought after justice department memo about targeted killings. and that brings us to our question of the day for you. is the u.s. government justified in killing americans suspected of being terrorists? you can tweet me @thomasaroberts or find me on facebook. for over 75 years people have saved money with...ohhh... ...with geico... ohhh...sorry! director's voice: here we go. from the top. and action for over 75 years people have saved money with gecko so.... director's voice: cut it! ...what...what did i say? gecko? i said gecko? aw... for over 75 year...(laughs. but still trying to keep it contained)
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we may not be able to prevent every massacre or random shooting. no law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe, but if there's even one thing we can do, if there's just one life we can save, we've got an obligation to try. >> that was president obama yesterday, urging americans to help in the fight for tougher gun laws. and later today, four lawmakers from both sides of the aisle
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will unveil the first bipartisan gun control legislation in the house. their bill cracks down on gun trafficking, which is part of president obama's proposal. and joining me now is democratic congresswoman, carolyn maloney of new york. she is one of the representatives holding today's news conference to announce that bill. congresswoman, it's great to see you. and explain to all of us first out of the gate, more about how this bill would work. and what you've been able to craft, how exactly do you feel it's going to cut down on gun violence? >> well, basically, thomas -- and thank you for having me on your show -- it will stop the flow of guns to criminals. for the first time, we'll have not only a bipartisan bill, but a bill that combats gun trafficking and makes it a crime. it's hard to believe, but it's not a felony now. it also increases the penalties. it is sympathetic we believe that can pass, because it will stop the flow of guns to illegal activities and criminals, but it protects the rights of
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law-abiding gun ownership, so it is something that law enforcement is fully behind and that they've asked for. they asked for it in a hearing last year before the government reform and oversight committee, on which i serve on violence on the border, they said, we don't even go after straw purchasers. those there people who buy guns and sell them to criminals, because the laws are so weak. all we can do is give them a slap on the wrist. we can't give them serious penalties. so they were literally begging for this tool to allow them to do a better job. and i feel strongly about it. i introduced it in the last congress. this time, we have two republicans joining us. we hope we'll get many, many more. it's common sense. it will save lives. and it is something we should work together, compromise on, and pass in this congress. it will save lives. the amount of violence is going up in our country, and i don't think anyone agrees that guns
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should flow to criminals or illegal activity. if we could stop that, we could save lives. >> congressman, it's certainly an approach to put some caulk in a lot of the cracks around the laws that are already in place. but i want to show everybody, the "usa today" has a survey that shows that 119 members of congress own guns and only 10% of republicans who responded say that had don't own a gun, while 66% of democrats said they are not gun owners. from a microcosm of just your colleagues right there on the hill, is there a cultural divide? and is that one of the bigger obstacles to meaningful gun control legislation, because of individual perspective of your colleagues alone? >> but we need to come together and break down any divides. >> this bill does not hinder any gun -- law-abiding gun
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ownership. it doesn't in any way hinder the second amendment. it only goes after illegal activity. gun trafficking, it stops the flow of guns to criminals. not to members of congress and law-abiding americans. i believe it's something that everyone on both sides of the aisle can support. and it's common sense and law enforcement is asking for it. >> well, congresswoman, you bring up the phrase "common sense." i think a lot of people want to know more about it, but is that clearly an effort on your part, when you hear that phrase, hear that phrase from our elected leaders, is that a way to try to get to the middle, to try to find the independents, to try to find the moderates. because common sense to some people is not common sense to somebody else. >> well, common sense, means to me, something that benefits america and doesn't, in any way, infringe on the rights of others. that's what this bill does. so it is a way of reaching out. we hope to gain more bipartisan
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support and hopefully we can pass it and save lives. the incidents of gun violence is growing in our country, and if we don't act to reverse it, we are not being responsible legislators. this is a responsible bill, again, that law enforcement as asked for and that they support. >> right now you seem to have support that is growing and continues to grow. we'll follow it for you. carolyn maloney, thanks for your time. coming up, republican senators still beating the war drums over chuck hagel's nomination. lindsey graham using the word "clueless" to describe his knowledge of u.s. policy. and there's even talk of a filibuster. what all this means for hagehag straight ahead. i'm a conservative investor. but that doesn't mean i don't want to make money. i love making money. i try to be smart with my investments. i also try to keep my costs down. what's your plan?
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i spoke with one of the family members last night and
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they said ethan was doing really well. lots of hugs and kisses going on and that he was just his lovely, sweet little self. so they were so happy. >> that was alabama state senator, harri ann smith on the "today" show, sharing good news about the 5-year-old alabama boy who was held hostage for nearly a week. police made dangerous move yesterday by entering the underground bunker where he was being held. his abductor, 65-year-old jimmy lee, is dead. and law enforcement records show that the former marine charged in the killing of a former navy s.e.a.l. sniper has been taken to a mental hospital twice and told police that he had posttraumatic stress disorder. a judge denied george zimmerman's request to delay his trial in the shooting death of trayvon martin. now, family members and supporters gathered in front of the courthouse to sing "happy birthday" to trayvon. he would have turned 18 years old today. the boy scouts are meeting this week to discuss their ban
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on gay scout members and a vote on the policy is expected tomorrow, the final day of their three-day meeting. an innocent game of tug-of-war turns into a nightmare for two high school students. doctors are trying to reattach several fingers after they were severaled because the rope was wrapped around their hands too tightly. and champion skier lindsey vonn had to be airlifted to a hospital after hurting her right knee dur the alpine world championships. and on a much brighter note, in baltimore, charm city, thousands are packing the parade route to celebrate the ravens' stellar win over the san francisco 49ers on sunday. and while the official verdict isn't in, roger goodell says that beyonce is not to blame for the blackout that occurred after her amazing halftime performance. and i'll just put this out there. we might have a leiv shot from baltimore at the end of the show if my brilliant and talented producer will let us. we'll go back to that baltimore
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[ female announcer ] bargain brand cooking spray leaves annoying residue. that's why there's new pam. today, however, our immigration system is badly broken. but there is hope. this hearing and more importantly the bipartisan legislation that i believe can be enacted because of it shows that we are on the cusp of real progress. >> san antonio mayor julian castro speaking. and later, the president is talking about immigration as well. a secret justice department document is revealing new information about the nation's drone program. the memo states that it's legal for the government to kill u.s. citizens abroad if they're
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believed to be high-level terrorists. even if there's no evidence they're planning an attack. and it stems from questions surrounding the obama administration's controversial use of unmanned drones to strike al qaeda targets. now, at least four americans have been killed in drone strikes in yemen. how majority leader eric cantor had this reaction to the report this morning. >> we are going to be active in terms of the oversight function that we have in the house of representatives. i think all of us want to maintain our national security and do everything we can to work together, to try and affect that mission. >> nbc national investigative correspondent michael isikoff broke this story by obtaining that memo last night, and he joins me this morning. so, michael, this is being called a white paper memo. explain to all of us what is that. and attorney general eric holder said last march that it was constitutional to kill americans abroad if they were posing a threat of violent attacks. so explain how all of this
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meshes together. >> sure, exactly. well, first of all, the strike against anwar awlaki, both were killed in 2011. got a lot of attention because they were both american citizens, had never been charged with crimes, and raising the question, what is the u.s. government's authority to kill an american citizen, who has full constitutional protections, the same ones you and i do? and the justice -- it has been reported that the justice department's office of legal counsel, its official arbitrator of legal advice for the executive branch wrote a memo that laid out the legal justifications for targeted killings of americans who were believed to be al qaeda leaders. but that has never been made public. and there's been a lot of clamor from both the news media and members of congress to see what
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are the legal justifications for this? what are the limits on this authority? how is it defined? how do we know it does not get abused? the justice department in response to members of congress, refuse to turn over the actual memo, but they did provide, last june, this 16-page white paper that they say tracks the arguments, tracks the legal analysis in that olc memo. now, this white paper was not made public. in fact, it was turned over to the judiciary and intelligence committees under rules of confidentiality and understanding it could not be discussed in public. but we did, i did obtain a copy of the memo from a source who had access to it. and when you read the memo, and we've posted it online, you see that a lot of the legal analysis in there, a lot of the
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definitions in there do go beyond and provide far more detail than anything obama administration officials have said publicly about these kind of drone strikes. >> michael isikoff, great work on your part. thank you for bringing this story to our attention. and our question of the day for all of you, after hearing this report and hearing what michael has uncovered, is the u.s. government justified in the targeted killing of americans suspected of being terrorists? tweet me your thought thoughts @thomasaroberts or find us on facebook. coming up, governor chris christie confronts his weight issue and does so head-on with a jelly doughnut and david letterman. you've got to do it for yourself. the pollee side bar is ahead. ♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it. bee happy. bee healthy.
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so on this day in black history, we take a look at the life of essie may washington williams, the biracial child of the late senator strom thurmond, who died yesterday at the age of
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87. william washington, who was the daughter of thurmond, the straunch segregationalist and his family's black maid, never revealed her identity, because in her words, he trusted me and i respected him in reference to her father. it was in 2003 thatstrom th str thurmond that washington came forward about this secret that had been rumored for decades. another twist in president obama's cabinet shuffle. just a short time ago, republican senator lindsey graham sent out a statement bashing chuck hagel's nomination for defense secretary, saying, "what kind of signal are we saying to the iranians when our nominee for secretary of defense seems clueless about what our policy is? i hope the obama administration will reconsider his nomination." joining me now, more to talk about this, "washington post" op-ed columnist, dana milbank. dana, good to have you here. and don't we have senator john mccain, and we know how this went down, several other republicans were very tough through that confirmation
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hearing, but they said yesterday they would not support a filibuster of hagel's confirmation, as threatened by senate republican leader mitch mcconnell. so would it be historic, or do you think that it's really possible? >> to actually proceed with a filibuster? >> to proceed with a filibuster, yeah? >> it's a theoretical possibility. it would be such an extraordinary escalation of the wars here in washington, which are already completely out of control. so, yes, they could do it. but just the very notion of them filibustering, one of their former republican colleagues, and not because they found him unfit to serve for some personal reason or related to his capacity to serve, but because they don't like his policies. and guess what, those policies happen to be the policies of the president who just won re-election. it would be an awful precedent to start. i would be awfully surprised if they really wanted to go down that road. >> but even for the audition, through that hearing itself, wasn't the most stellar. most democrats not pouring cold water on it, but not too proud
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of the performance of chuck hagel that day. >> no, i think that's true. he didn't distinguish himself particularly well during the hearing. but nobody's really doubting the man's credentials in terms of his own military service and his service there in the united states senate. although, perhaps intellectual rigor is not a requirement to serve in that body. but i don't think anybody seriously doubts his capacity to serve as the defense secretary. >> yeah. >> so, look, all odds are that he is going to get this job one way or another. the question is, how much do people really want to further embitter things before it occurs. >> sharp elbows might be better for the skill set there. i want to talk more about the op-ed you have on john kerry, and you write, "for a change, people were laughing with him, not at him, during his first day at the state department yesterday." and i want to show for everybody the reason why. take a look. >> here's the big question
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before the country and the world and the state department after the last eight years. can a man actually run the state department? i don't know. as the saying goes, i have big heels to fill. >> all right, so a logical question there. but how big of a change is this for the former senator? i mean, a lot of people who know him best do feel that this is the role he was born to play. >> yeah, i certainly think so. and he's been rumored for this position, going back to when gore was running for president. everybody always brings up john kerry's name, and obviously the circumstances didn't align until right now. but think about it, he was the son of a diplomat, spent a lot of time abroad as a kid. went off and served in the military, and was a foreign policy specialist in the senate. chairman of the foreign relations committee. he's basically been campaigning, subtly, for this job, all along.
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and you can just see the comfort level that he had there. you know, those of us who have covered him in politics, he's kind of awkward, a little bit difficult. you remember the situation with the wind surfing. you know, i voted for the $87 billion before i voted against it. he has some awkwardness in the retail politics area. he has no awkwardness when it comes to diplomacy. and you can see him really enjoying, flying around capitals of the world. this is what john kerry was meant to do. >> dana milbank of "the washington post," good to see you. senator bob menendez breaking his silence. it is time now for the poly-side bar. >> the smears that the right wing have been pushing since the election, and it's totally unsubstantiated. it's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can
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drive that type of story into the mainstream. the bottom line is all of those smears are absolutely false and, you know, that's the bottom line. >> so for the first time, the democrat from new jersey answering reporters' questions about allegations involving underage prostitutes. he also explained why he waited so long to pay a florida doctor $58,000 for four plane trips to the dominican republic. menendez says it was just a mistake. hillary clinton's only been retired now for a few days, but her team has already launched a new website. take a peek. there it is. hillaryclintonoffice.com. and right now, there's not much to it, just a picture of the former secretary of state and a "contact" button. tagg, not it. mitt romney's son says he will not run for the vacant massachusetts senate seat. he released a statement yesterday saying, "i love my home state and admit it would be an honor to represent the citizens of our great commonwealth. however, i am currently committed to my business and to spending as much time as i can
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with my wife and children." then there was the "boston herald's" weekend reporting that republicans want tagg's mom, ann romney, to run for that seat. she has not commented yet, but republicans probably shouldn't hold their breath on that one. but there is one republican tossing his hat into the ring, congressman paul broun. he is one of the most conservative members of the house, expected to announce his candidacy coming up tomorrow. meanwhile, bill clinton says that betty white, that's right, betty white is the answer to the country's problems. >> having served as president of the united states for eight years, i know how profoundly demanding the job can be. so when i think about the future of this great nation, i still know that amazing things can be accomplished. but only if we work to elect betty white president. >> so now betty white turning 91, but the former president there, helping celebrate the second anniversary of betty white turning 90. which is going to be televised. and if you can't beat 'em, join
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'em! governor chris christie showing that he can take joke by cracking some fat jokes of his own with david letterman. >> i've made jokes about you, not just one or two. not just ongoing, here or there, intermittent, but -- >> i didn't know this was going to be this long. aw this is tragic man, investors just like you could lose tens of thousands of dollars on their 401(k) to hidden fees. thankfully e-trade has low cost investments and no hidden fees. but, you know, if you're still bent on blowing this fat stack of cash, there's a couple of ways you could do it. ♪ ♪ or just go to e-trade and save it. boom. ♪
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all right. so we asked, you answered. the is u.s. government justified in targeted killings of americans suspected of being terrorists? from joanne, "two key words in your question -- americans and suspected -- there is no justification." mk tweeting, "if a country from our person eats, thinks, sleeps, skp and kills like our enemy, they are our enemy" and from travis,
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"yes, when those americans join groups whose sole purpose is destroying our way of life and killing american, the government absolutely has the right to stop them before they achieve their goals." i want to tell you about this developing story. attorney general eric holder and other attorneys general holding a news conference announcing the government's lawsuit against standard & poor's financial services. holder saying that s&p misled investors that ignored risks, which to the financial meltdown. >> specifically, this alleged conduct is egregious, and it goes to the very heart of the recent financial crisis. >> standard & poor's denies any wrong doing. it's the first suit surrounding the biggest financial crisis since the great depression. all right. want to show you some live pictures from baltimore. charm city here, people. that's where they are celebrating the new super bowl champions of the ravens. now, a parade is going to kick off right there. you're looking at images of city
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hall, and they're going to go down commerce street, down pratt, and then on to howard street where they go to mmt bank. kind of know the area. fresh off that victory, ravens player is speaking out again about his advocacy for marriage equality. in an interview with hip-hop mogul russell simmons says being the first pioneer publicly accepting same-sex marriage in the three major sports was difficult at first, but the more people scrutinized and ridiculed me, the stronger i became for that issue." joining me now is chris cluey, punter for the minnesota vikings and another athlete ally in the nfl who has had a very strong platform to use to talk about marriage equality and also bullying in this country. it's great to have you with me, and i want to start off talking about chris culliver of the 49ers who spent the majority of his super bowl week on the defense over his comments about what it will be like to have a gay player on his team. in your opinion, chris, do you think he should have faced a tougher penalty from the league for speaking the way that he
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did? >> um, i think ideally the goal is to educate chris on, you know, why his comments were hurtful and denigrating to people because, you know, it really sounded like he was speaking from a spot of ignorance, where he just hadn't interacted with anyone who was gay or just knew what it was like, so i think the goal there is to make him realize why what he said is wrong. >> all right. one thing, though, you the 49ers got a lot of praise because they were the first football team to be awe part of the it gets better campaign, which was prerecorded messages to talk about youth bully and to second a message to young kids that could be lgbt that, it gets better, and they were, you know -- they were praised for this. now that video has been pulled by dan savage, and it gets better, because when thez players were questioned about chris culliver's comments, and they said they didn't even remember having made that, and they didn't do anything for gay
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rights. is it a problem that, you know, many of us -- we glorify our pro sports, our athletes in this country? is it bad when we come to you guys asking you to get political and intellectualize really hard conversations? >> yomg it's bad. i think it's something every citizen should could is take part in this country. i mean, that's something where no matter what job you have, you have a vested interest in making things better for america because you live here. i mean, this is our home. i think the reason most athletes aren't political and aren't open is because, you know, it can create a dis traction, and that makes it difficult to focus on your job, but the thing is that we have this platform in order to make a difference, and i think it's incumbent upon us to make that difference. >> you know, you've gotten feedback from within the own collective of your team where people have said basically to you just shut up and kick.
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you have not just shut up about anything that you feel strongly about, but does that embolden you just kind of like brendan was satisfying? getting the scrutiny only makes me clearer in what i'm doing is right. >> well, no one has actually said that to me on the team. i think it was more a couple comments from my coach were taken out of context, but no, it's actually -- the guys on the team have been very supportive. there's been guys that have come up to me and said, well, we may not agree with you on the same-sex issue, we definitely agree with you supporting brendan on his free speech, and then other guys have come up and said we support you and think everything you said was right, and i think a key thing to notice there is it's not just guys on my team, but guys from other teams have come up to me and said, hey, man, i think you have done the right thing. >> you have been using your voice for marriage equality. what do you think will happen legislatively in minnesota? >> well, i think that sooner -- probably rather than later gay marriage will be legal in the
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state because the ark of history tends towards freedom. people want to be free to live their own lives, and i think the key thing is that other people need to realize live your own life and treat other people the way you want to be treated. that's really a very simple concept, but it takes some people a very long time to figure it out. >> chris, i know you do a lot of work, too, without athlete ally, which is helping to raise awareness about breaking homophobia in sports and being a straight ally in that sense, but best of luck to you, and i know you have been healing up, but you're going to be good to go in the new season. chris, thank you, sir. good to see you. >> thank you very much. >> absolutely. that's going to wrap things up for me. thank you, everybody, for joining me. i'll sigh being back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern. joy-ann reid, doug thornell and hogan gidley. "now with alex wagner" is coming up in the next hour. >> i don't have my ravens cap today, but i support you and
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your victory. >> i'm going to come over and give you my purple tie to wear. >> that is real love, thomas. >> you know, i did. i gave you a ravens cap to wear. >> and cookies, and i missed out yesterday. >> i gave you a face sticker to wear. i don't know what i'm going to do. i don't know what i'm going to do. >> that was fail on my part. >> i don't know what i'm going to do with you. >> both in super bowl and in my proverbial plat onic heart. >> let's see if you can cover some of the parade in your hour. there's a parade -- >> they will cut to it live. >> i'll forgive you. >> keep tuned -- stay tuned in, america. we have that as well as other things in the hour. president obama is gearing up for the state of the union with a multi-pronged push on immigration reform while congress is taking a course in citizenship 101. we'll get the lowdown from luke russert and joy reid, and the president doubled down on the assault weapons ban, but what can he and congress learn from 1994? we'll get in the way back machine. and president michael waldman joins us for a discussion in the gop scheme to
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